This “Expert Gardener” “Light Duty” garden hose was tested new on the shelf in Walmart in 2017. Only the plastic part of the hose was tested and it was positive for lead (Pb) at 52 parts per million.
52 ppm lead is a relatively low level of lead, but I would still have concerns for water sitting in this hose in the hot sun over time. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to test the hardware (the yellow brass) on this particular hose. Most yellow brass (especially on garden hoses that are not clearly marked as being lead-free) is likely high lead content brass, in the 30,000 to 40,000 ppm range.
In general I think a hose (and anything used for gardening or food use or use for play by children) should be lead-free.
Note: It is nearly impossible for the average consumer to test their own hose for Lead. You need an XRF instrument or you need to use leach testing (and/or water sampling) to determine if a hose has Lead. You cannot use a Lead Check swab (or similar) to detect Lead in hoses (or at least I will say that I have never found a reactive agent test to work on the substrate of a leaded hose.) As a result it is super important to purchase a hose for your family that is truly Lead-free (Lead-free both in the rubber/plastic of the hose and in the metal hose ends and fittings.)
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.